My last semester of college I was fortunate enough to be able to Intern in the White House under President Obama. I worked for the Office of Presidential Personnel, which researched and selected the nearly 4,000 presidentially appointed positions. Unsurprisingly, this was a life changing experience for me. I worked with some of the most hardworking, intelligent people I have ever met. Additionally, Interns were given the opportunity to meet and hear from Senior White House officials including First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett.
Many prospective students enter law school hoping to work in a particular geographic area. For example, some may ask – if I go to school in New Jersey, do I have chance to practice law in New York City? At Seton Hall, the answer is an unquestionable yes. Seton Hall students will actually see that they have more than just a chance to practice law in New York; they will have options.
These are uncertain times for the promise of equal access to justice for all. Particularly now, it is important that we the lawyers show up to do what we can do: wield our unique expertise to be instigators, catalysts and defenders of the rule of law, the power of reason and the promise of mercy.
Although everyone is aware of the benefits of clerking for a federal judge, too many students overlook the tremendous opportunity of being a clerk in the New Jersey state courts. First, the opportunities for a judicial clerkship are plentiful, with over 400 trial and appellate Superior Court judges in New Jersey compared to just 35 federal district court and magistrate judges in New Jersey.
Finding outside scholarships was much easier than I expected. I was surprised to learn how much funding is available for current students. Each scholarship has a different criterion. Sometimes scholarships are geared towards students pursuing an area of law, such as health law, criminal law or public interest. Sometimes scholarships are geared towards a category of students such as women, first generation law students, or New Jersey residents.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to lecture at a law school in Jérémie, Haiti. Seton Hall Law has a special partnership with this school in Haiti. One of Haiti’s ongoing problems is that its legal system, particularly at the local level, often functions poorly because of lack of resources and corruption. As the law school in Jérémie began to produce graduates who attained positions as judges and local political leaders, the situation in that city, though still very difficult, began to improve. Good lawyers, trained to live out core values of justice and respect for the rule of law, support good communities.
I share this story because it shows the unique value of a law school invested in giving back to its community.
As a first year law student, the thought of one final exam determining 100% of my grade was daunting and I wanted to make sure I was prepared for what was to come. When I started law school, I asked many second and third year law students about their studying strategies. I noticed that study groups were pretty common, but decided that they were not for me and that was the best choice I ever made.
If you are researching financial aid for law school, you may know that the 2017-18 FAFSA is now available - 3 months earlier than in the past. Previously, the FAFSA was able to be completed any time after January 1, and this date has been moved up to October 1.The 2017-18 FAFSA asks for 2015 federal income tax information – yes 2015. If you have applied for financial aid previously as an undergraduate, you may do a double take – isn’t 2015 the same information that you put on the 2016-17 FAFSA? The answer is yes, as this is the transition year. Instead of the prior year, the FAFSA now collects Prior-Prior-Year, which financial aid offices call PPY.
Topics: Financial Aid
While the majority of law students come to law school directly from college, there are a significant number who come from the workplace. If you are someone who started working after graduating from college and are now considering going to law school, you may be nervous about whether it’s a problem that you don’t really remember everything you learned in college. And you may be wondering what you can or should do to prepare for law school.
The answer is—pretty much nothing. Your college experience, whatever it was and whenever it took place, will not hold you back. And your work experience is an asset, not a liability.
Historically, law schools focused almost exclusively on teaching students substantive legal concepts and developing corresponding analytical and writing skills. While this traditional core – “learning to think and write like a lawyer” -- remains at the center of the law school curriculum, it has become clear that law students need to develop other skills and knowledge to be successful once they graduate. Thus, we have seen a proliferation of course offerings focused on matters such as effective communication and leadership, adeptness with technology, and data analysis.
Topics: Classes and Courses